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Remember how social games were supposed to be dead?No one’s told the people who are flocking to FarmVille 2, Zynga’s latest big hit.
It’s about to cross 50 million players, a figure that’s been steadily surging upwards since launch.
According to AppData, a Facebook-app analytics site, FarmVille 2 is the biggest app on Facebook with 48.9 million monthly active users, about 20 per cent of whom play every day. (Daily users are thought to be the most likely to spend money on in-game extras, which is the primary way Zynga makes money.)
That’s not as high as the original FarmVille, which peaked at around 83 million players. But the social-gaming marketplace is vastly more competitive now, and Facebook has made it harder for these games to spread.
Earlier this month, Zynga slashed its forecasts for the third quarter and the year. We won’t know if FarmVille 2, which only launched Sep. 5, made any difference for third-quarter results until Zynga announces its earnings on October 24, but it’s unlikely to have moved the needle: As of the end of September, FarmVille 2 had only garnered 15 million players. It’s more than tripled since then.
Zynga CEO Mark Pincus has been frank about problems in the company’s “invest and express” category—games like FarmVille, where players spend time and money to decorate virtual homesteads. To the extent that Wall Street assigns any value to Zynga, it’s mostly on the theory that Zynga will be able to expand its casino games if real-money betting is legalized in the US.
But FarmVille 2’s success suggests that all is not lost in Mark Pincus’s Facebook-gaming franchise, and that it’s still able to promote new titles to players of existing games.
Here’s the AppData chart: